In shock, Offenbach's large family mourns the tragic death of guitarist John McGale, a pillar of the famous Quebec rock band who was behind some of the most important songs in its repertoire.
Stéphane Daoust, who shared the management of Offenbach with the late Ontario musician for a few years, has lost a friend.
“He was a great boyfriend, like a big brother, but also a great musician who greatly influenced Quebec song. We owe him two other beers and several tunes from the Traversion album,” he said.
The death of John McGale was confirmed Monday after he was involved in a violent road trip overnight from Saturday to Sunday, in Lacolle, Montérégie.
Aged 66, he had joined the ranks of Offenbach in 1978 and he was the only survivor of the group's formations of the 1970s.
His song Angelie, with the musician Toyo, is also one of his feats. During his career, he also worked with Julie Masse.
Reached by Le Journal, the former singer of Offenbach, Breen Leboeuf, was too appalled to react to the sad news. "Everyone is in shock," he said simply.
On his Facebook page, the group's current drummer, Michel Landry, like Stéphane Daoust, spoke of the deceased as a mentor.
“He opened the door for me to opportunities that a kid from small town New Brunswick couldn't dream of. »
Also on Facebook, singer Jonas, who starred as John McGale in the biopic Gerry, called him "a great contributor to the music scene in Montreal and Quebec."
Future in peril
Does the death of John McGale sound the death knell for Offenbach? Even if the group has known many personnel changes since its formation in 1969, Stéphane Daoust believes that the departure of the guitarist will be difficult to overcome.
"It's going to be tough because John was the president of the company that runs Offenbach. Everything belonged to him. There will be a lot of cleaning to do because we have three equipment warehouses. »
Beyond the administrative question, recalls Mr. Daoust, it is one of the last links with the great era of Offenbach that no longer exists.
"He's the one who knows the songs, the arrangements. It's going to be hard... "
“Bon voyage, John McGale. You, the smile, the gentleman, the great guitarist. I am so sad. I want to pay tribute to your authenticity and what you leave to Quebec music. “Solo” John!!! »
“John McGale was a remarkable musician, a fabulous guitarist and above all a member of the mythical group Offenbach. Exceptional group in Quebec, which was decisive in my musical learning. I am sad and saddened by his tragic passing. »
– France D’Amour
“Total shock. It's upsetting. Such a tragedy. We had gotten a lot closer recently while playing together. »
“I have just learned that John McGale, with whom, for Offenbach, I had written, among other things, Two other beers, Sleeping waters, I know it well and I have rock'n'roll and worse, died in a car accident. I admit it, I'm starting to run out of beautiful, eloquent formulas to greet departed friends. »
– Pierre Huet